Tag Archives: anniversaries

Glorious Noise Turns Sweet 16

When we first launched Glorious Noise in February 2001 the country had just inaugurated a Republican president who had lost the popular vote after a bitter, draining campaign. My pals and I were not optimistic about the future.

We’ve written at length about the origins of this site, about the influence of Vanity Fair’s “Rock Snob Dictionary,” about Jim DeRogatis’ Lester Bangs biography, about the on-point emails from Johnny Loftus…but equally influential was the work of Hunter S. Thompson, who had recently launched his online column, Hey Rube, for espn.com (thankfully archived here). His posts were honest and fearless and beholden to no one; we idolized him. Thompson took his own life shortly after Bush was inaugurated for his second term, and I miss his voice every time I read the news.

The GLONO posse has always been a bunch of politics junkies. Which is why in 2006 we started POLJUNK, the national affairs desk of Glorious Noise. The site is no longer active, but the Twitter account is still on fire. You should follow it. We try to keep most political commentary out of the @gloriousnoise account so we can keep the focus on music, because in times like these it becomes more important than ever to remember that there is still good stuff going on in the world.

Please don’t think we are putting our collective heads in the sand when it comes to the current political situation, but there are lots of avenues available out there that provide your minute-by-minute fix of outrage porn. It’s important to stay informed, but it’s also easy to get overwhelmed by the constant barrage of bad news. And that doesn’t do anybody any good.

Independent voices are getting more and more consolidated as people increasingly get all their information from fewer and fewer sources. 16 years ago when we started GLONO the online world was a very different place. I was convinced that the internet was an incredible thing, leveling the playing field between the bigwigs and the little guy. The democratization of opinion was going to make the world a better place, where a bunch of nerds with a modem could potentially have as much influence as Jann Wenner or anybody else. And musicians wouldn’t have to go through evil record labels to get their music out to the whole world. Be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Back then, I didn’t want to call this site a blog, despite the fact that we started out using blogger.com as our content management system. I thought Glorious Noise was cooler than that. We had multiple contributors, our own domain, we weren’t diarists, we didn’t feel obligated to post multiple times a day, most posts weren’t just reblogs of existing content. We were an online zine, not a crummy little blog. We are, after all, professionals.

Today, that distinction–and snobbery–just seems silly. Glorious Noise is a blog. It’s always been a blog.

And now Twitter and Facebook have basically gobbled up all of the former ways to measure a site’s connection to its readers. Remember when comments were fun? Remember following a bunch of different sites with RSS? Remember discovering cool new sites by following links on other cool sites? Does anybody even read blogs anymore?

So why bother? Why spend your time writing, editing, and publishing articles when you have no indication that anybody’s reading them, and most evidence suggests that not very many people are?

I had a few beers with Johnny Loftus in Chicago a few weeks ago and he asked me pretty much those same questions. My response was, well, why did we start this shit in 2001? Why were we posting stuff back then? Nobody knew about us. Nobody read us. It took us almost a year to reach our 20,000th unique visitor. And half of those were probably bots. But we were thrilled. It was exciting!

We did it because it was fun. And because we had something to say. Even if it was stupid, and sometimes it certainly was. Who cares? Sure, it’s cool when readers give us feedback, and it’s cool to reach new people, but that’s never really been what it’s about.

Our earliest mission statement reads as follows:

Glorious Noise is a forum for my friends to post their thoughts on various subjects, mostly dealing with music. We have been described as rock snobs, but I don’t think that’s a totally fair label for us. We like what we like, and if you want to go out and spend your money on the new Limp Bizkit record, that’s up to you.

This is not a record review site. No one cares about the opinions of a bunch of strangers. If we were professionals, we wouldn’t be here. If you want professional reviews and real rock journalism, I recommend InsiderOne. Glorious Noise just contains some essays, stories, and rants about how rock and roll can change your life.

I hope you like it.

That still cracks me up. So snotty. And righteous. But that was our mindset when we founded the site.

And now I’m asking my posse to keep it going. Because I think it’s important to put good stuff out there. Now, more than ever.

I fully understand that everybody has limited free time. And I get that it’s uncool to ask people to work for free. We’re all grownups now. We have a lot of other pressing, real-life stuff to do. But it’s important to not allow yourself to get bogged down by negativity. As Johnny told me, “In a world of rancor and hot takes, we could all use a safe space to hang.” Purposeful self-interest and self-preservation. And that’s our goal for Glorious Noise for the immediate future. Or at least until the internet is shut down or the world ends…

We are going to continue to self-publish independent content on this self-funded site. Just like we’ve been doing for the past 16 years. And I still hope you like it.

Say it loud: I’m BLOG and I’m proud.

Continue reading Glorious Noise Turns Sweet 16

Glorious Noise is 11 years old today

One year ago for our tenth anniversary, we took a little break. A sabbatical. After six months with nary a peep, we quietly started publishing stuff again. And we’ve been posting stuff fairly regularly since then.

The break was nice. It gave us time to migrate from MovableType to WordPress. We also switched hosts from Hostrocket to Dreamhost. And then switch back to Hostrocket after Dreamhost couldn’t power our decade-worth of content with their measly 8MB of PHP memory.

Our break also gave us some time to think about why we do this whole Glorious Noise thing and whether or not to continue on with it. When it comes down to it I realized that I enjoy sharing good music, interesting news, and critical opinions with the people who read this site. It’s easy to get bummed out when comments are non-existent, when pageviews are low (or are only high for stupid stuff), and when ad revenue dries up.

But then I think back eleven years to when we started this thing and we didn’t have any of that business. (Remember when enabling comments on blogs required separate software? BlogVoices, RIP!) Then again, we don’t have the novelty factor anymore. Plus now most of us have kids, real careers, etc. But we still care about music, musicians, and the music industry so we’re going to keep this going for the foreseeable future. As long as it’s fun.

I’m excited about Sab’s new column, My Vinyl Solution, where he’ll be listening to his entire record collection in (more or less) alphabetical order. We’ll be rolling out a redesign over the next couple of weeks. And we’ll try to come up with some other fun ideas to keep this interesting to our readers and to ourselves.

I’m off to drive to Chicago to see Jeff Mangum right now, so I’m signing off. But I’ll leave you with some inspirational thoughts from Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and MC Ren.

Previous birthdays:

• 2002: Happy Birthday to Glorious Noise!
• 2003 :Terrible Twos: Happy Birthday to Us!
• 2004: Happy Birthday! Three is a Magic Number!
• 2005: Glorious Noise is Four Years Old
• 2006 (belated): The Black and Orange Ball: GLONO’s Fifth Birthday Party
• 2007: Happy Sixth Birthday to Glorious Noise
• 2008: And if the Devil is Six: GLONO is Seven!
• 2009: Glorious Noise Turns Eight Years Old Today; Eight Years Ago: It started with emails…
• 2010: Glorious Noise Is Nine Years Old
• 2011: Decade: Glorious Noise Turns 10

Decade: Glorious Noise Turns 10


Ten years ago, on February 6, 2001, we launched Glorious Noise with this simple declaration: “Welcome to Glorious Noise. Coming soon: lots of opinionated essays and stories about how rock and roll can change your life…”

Phil then posted a follow-up: “Hey all, let’s get ready to rumble. Jake and I are taking our email argument about Britney Spears online. Be ready to argue about rock and roll, country, hip hop, pop and straight up poop. Let’s get it on!”

And that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing for the last decade. Ten years. That’s a long time. We’ve been lucky to work with tons of great contributors over these years, several of whom have gone on to real (i.e., paid) rockcrit/journalism jobs. That makes me very proud.

But now it’s time for a little break. How little remains to be seen. If Glorious Noise is to carry on, we’ve got to do some major behind-the-scenes overhaulage. We’ve been on the same web host since 2002, and we’ve been at least partially unhappy with them since 2007. And we’re still powered by Movable Type 3.36, which is old and creaky. I’m not suggesting we’re a complete tear-down, but we could definitely use a gut rehab.

Plus, frankly, after ten years I’m feeling a little burnt out from the daily responsibilities of editing and publishing an online music zine. It’s time for a break. A hiatus if you will. And while technically I guess one would have to describe the hiatus as “indefinite,” I don’t like the implication of that. I’m pretty sure Glorious Noise will be back. And when we do come back, we’ll be refreshed, recharged, redesigned, reinvigorated, and ready for another decade.

In other words, we want to preserve what is beautiful and special about the site and have it stay that way.

We’ll keep you up to date on our progress via Facebook and Twitter (for those of you not on Twitter, I created a special page for you), and in the meantime you’ll still be able to read lots of Todd Totale’s stuff on his Glam-Racket blog. And you can always sift through ten years of Glorious Noise Archives—relive the magic!

Thanks, everybody, for reading and for all the feedback over years. It’s been a ton of fun.

Continue reading Decade: Glorious Noise Turns 10

Glorious Noise Is Nine Years Old

Mmmmm, GLONO cake.We’re so old we’re getting to the point where we don’t even like celebrating our birthday anymore. But GLONO has been around since February 6, 2001. Time to bust out that old picture of the birthday cake from our party at Beat Kitchen in 2004

We’d like to thank everybody who’s stopped by to read an article, download an mp3, watch a video, post a comment, or start some shit on the message boards. The interactivity is what makes it fun. On that note we’d also like to thank all the people who’ve re-tweeted our stuff, posted things to Facebook and all those other social sites that have decentralized online interaction.

Previous birthdays:

• 2002: Happy Birthday to Glorious Noise!

• 2003 :Terrible Twos: Happy Birthday to Us!

• 2004: Happy Birthday! Three is a Magic Number!

• 2005: Glorious Noise is Four Years Old

• 2006 (belated): The Black and Orange Ball: GLONO’s Fifth Birthday Party

• 2007: Happy Sixth Birthday to Glorious Noise

• 2008: And if the Devil is Six: GLONO is Seven!

• 2009: Glorious Noise Turns Eight Years Old Today; Eight Years Ago: It started with emails…

Enter a contest to win a Glorious Noise T-shirt below…

Continue reading Glorious Noise Is Nine Years Old

Eight Years Ago: It started with emails…

Old schoolTo celebrate the eighth anniversary of the founding of GLONO, we’ve asked some of the original contributors to share some thoughts about eight years of publication. —Jake

As I recall, it started with emails. Johnny used to email me and Jake and a handful of his other friends these hilarious, spot-on reviews of everything from indie rock records to live shows to Chicago bars and TV shows. Some would spin into full-blown arguments that spanned weeks and were punctuated by the most creative ways to call someone a “dumb shit” you can imagine. This was way before Johnny turned pro and so it was like watching Cassius Clay train for the 1960 Olympics.

At some point Jake decided to take the conversation online. Being a lazy bastard the decision was probably a result of his not wanting to sort through emails anymore and being a neurotic collector and indexer he probably wanted an automated system for collecting these hilarious arguments into a searchable archive. The result: a catalog of eight years of arguments and ridiculous declarations.

Continue reading Eight Years Ago: It started with emails…

Glorious Noise Turns Eight Years Old Today

EightTo celebrate the eighth anniversary of the founding of GLONO, we’ve asked some of the original contributors to share some thoughts about eight years of publication. We were all excited when Stephen Macaulay joined the crew. Mac was (and is) a real professional who had subscribed to Creem when Lester Bangs was the editor, and he’d seen the Faces live. The fact that he thought what we were doing was something special gave us a boost of confidence that we needed in the beginning.

Eight Years After

No one is going to want to admit it, but essentially, Glorious Noise started out on a medium that was far different from the one you’re looking at now. Think of it more along the lines of Dixie Cups and string. The clever part was that whereas the cup-and-string routine is limited to pairs of senders and receivers, in the early days Glorious Noise actually had a drunken spider’s web of strings hooked up to a number of cups that you could count on both hands and have some fingers left over. Really.

Early on, it was sort of like a slightly elevated version of a dorm room flame session where one of the guys—yes, in the early days it was all guys, not a co-ed floor—would say something about someone (and as it was a guy thing, there were plenty of posts about Madonna, Alanis, Britney), with the others either piling on or positively chiming in. The idea that it was anything more than a means by which people were communicating across town in Chicago or across the lake into Michigan was something that was seemingly not all that considered. It was good, lively fun that could be accomplished from the comfort of one’s room, closet, or other space where there was a string, electricity, and, alright, a keyboard. Really.

Continue reading Glorious Noise Turns Eight Years Old Today

And if the Devil is Six: GLONO is Seven!

Mmmmm. Cake.George W. Bush was inaugurated as President of the United States on January 20, 2001. Seventeen days later, we humbly launched Glorious Noise.

A lot of shit has gone down in the past seven years. Some good shit, some really bad shit. But here we all are. Thanks for sticking with us.

I remember back in 2003, I received an email from Johnny where he linked to a message on another online music zine from its editor, announcing the opening of their new office space and ambitious redesign efforts for the near future. They were moving forward “while we’re putting solidly along.”

Continue reading And if the Devil is Six: GLONO is Seven!

Five Years Ago: 8 Mile-Inspired “Battles” Get Nuts

Five years ago today, the comments page for Johnny’s review of 8 Mile got so out of control that we had to break it off into a separate page because it was crashing our server: Your Comments on 8 Mile Is Worth the Hype.

And then the insanity continued on our message boards: Eminem’s 8 Mile Battles…and yours.

Looking back today, it cracks me up that we attempted to moderate these lunatics at all. Now, I wish we would have just let the crazies go on forever. What a snapshot of 2002 internet culture. Online rap battles. Wow.

Happy Sixth Birthday to Glorious Noise

Rock and roll can change your life.Oh man, we almost forgot our own birthday… If Glorious Noise was a kid he’d be in, like, first grade or something. Jeez, we’ve been doing this for a long time now. Six years!

Now, some of you might be thinking, Hey, didn’t you guys just celebrate your fifth birthday with a party for yourselves in October? Well, yeah we did. But sometimes it takes us a while to get going on things. So our fifth birthday party was eight months late. Oops.

But yeah, happy birthday to us. Read back over the archives and enjoy.

Continue reading Happy Sixth Birthday to Glorious Noise

The Black and Orange Ball: GLONO’s Fifth Birthday Party

The party of the centuryGlorious Noise is throwing a party, and you’re invited. What’s the occasion, you ask? We’re celebrating five years in publication and the third release on Glorious Noise Records with a big blowout. In fact, we’re having a ball! A Black and Orange Ball, in honor of the colors of our logo and our favorite holiday (as well as a nod to Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball in 1966). This will be the social event of the season.

Just wait to see what we’ve got in store for you. Three great bands, and loads of other entertainment, prizes, and excitement for you. Space is limited so get there early to be guaranteed a spot. Previous Glorious Noise events have sold out and had poor saps lined up outside in the rain! Don’t let that be you.

In addition to Glorious Noise recording artists Quasar Wut-Wut and Riviera (who will be selling their new CD a few weeks early), this year we hired headliners Healthy White Baby! For the uninitiated, HWB is Danny Black, front man and main songwriter for the Bloodshot artists The Blacks, Laurie Stirratt, bassist and singer for Blue Mountain, and Ryan Juravic on drums. To get an idea of what they sound like, check out “It’s Over”, and they’ve got more mp3s on their site.


Who: You and your closest friends along with with Healthy White Baby, Riviera, and Quasar Wut-Wut

What: The Black and Orange Ball, presented by Glorious Noise, $12

Where: Martyrs’ in Chicago, 3855 N. Lincoln Avenue

When: Saturday, October 21, 2006 at 10pm (but get there earlier)

Why: To celebrate five years of Glorious Noise and the new release by Riviera

Dress up! We’ll even provide you with an elegant black mask if you don’t have one. But if you want to dress crazy, like a gorilla or a zombie, go for it. If you’re more comfortable in a suit or a dress, live it up. Jeans and a t-shirt? No problem. The point is to have a ball. So dress for a party, whatever that means to you.

It’s a rock and roll but it’s also a masquerade ball, so go nuts!

Continue reading The Black and Orange Ball: GLONO’s Fifth Birthday Party